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French Fridays: Croque Madame from My Paris Kitchen

Croque Madame on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe from My Paris Kitchen is one of my favourite French café meals. A croque monsieur (unceremoniously names a “Fried cheese and ham sandwich” here) is a sandwich filled with the goodness of béchamel, cheese and ham.  Over the years I’ve had many iterations of this – it comes under many guises…

Croque Monsieur at Cafe Marly on eatlivetravelwrite.com(classic square slices of white bread version at Café Marly)

And sometimes it’s topped with an egg… making it a Croque Madame…

Bouchon croque madame on eatlivetravelwrite.com(this version was at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville and they cleverly made the béchamel look like it was part of the egg)

Basically you get a really good loaf of country bread, make a béchamel sauce (you can find David’s recipe here), then slather two slices of bread with that. Layer on the ham (I used prosciutto) and cheese (I used Gruyère) and close your sandwich up.  It’s “fried” only in so much that the outside is brushed in butter then it’s pan fried in a heavy skillet weighted down with another heavy skillet. I like my Croques gooey on the inside and light on the cheese outside but it’s definitely personal preference.  I added an egg to make a quick dinner last weekend – and a green salad would be the perfect accompaniment to this. Oh, and a glass of rosé 😉

I’ve made this before and will definitely make it again. Classic French café dishes don’t get much better! I had a few leftovers which I MacGyvered into another delicious meal – come back next week to check it out!

Get the recipe for Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwiches (Croque Monsieur) on page 137 of My Paris Kitchen.

MyParisKitchenDavidLebovitz

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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “My Paris Kitchen” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing do. All opinions 100% my own.

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19 Responses to French Fridays: Croque Madame from My Paris Kitchen

  1. Nicole @ The 2nd 35 Years April 15, 2016 at 07:33 #

    Oh I see! How clever! Of course, would expect no less from Thomas Keller and crew.

  2. Katie April 15, 2016 at 09:37 #

    That Bouchon Bistro version looks amazing! I also look forward to reading about your MacGyvered version. 🙂 And, yeah, “fried ham and cheese” is rather unceremonious. At least if we’re putting it in English we can say “Melty Grueyere and Prosciutto Sandwich with Béchamel” or something.

  3. Rose April 15, 2016 at 10:57 #

    Yes, rose would have been lovely. But since I served mine for an early brunch, orangina seemed more fitting.

  4. Margaret Jóhanna April 15, 2016 at 17:46 #

    When I was studying french as a foreign language at the Sorbonne in 1990 I often ordered this dish at the café. My prof a nice french lady would sit at the next table at lunch and have the same dish and a glass of démi. This was all new to me that my prof would drink a bier before class.

  5. mary hirsch April 15, 2016 at 18:11 #

    I’m a fan of this sandwich also. A big fan. One of my friends who follows my blog is in Paris right now and posted a comment that they are now making Vegetarian Croque Monsieurs/Madames. I know it wouldn’t be hard to do that but is it legal??? Like Margaret’s professor, I drank a beer with this fantastic fried thing.

    • Mardi Michels April 20, 2016 at 05:45 #

      I don’t think that sounds very nice if it’s with any meat or cheese substitutes but a vegetable croque is pretty tasty (I’ve made one before!)

  6. Shirley @ Flourishen Test Kitchen) April 15, 2016 at 23:50 #

    Guess what, if you ask me to eat one of the three sandwiches pictured here, I would choose yours or David’s version any day. I made mine with prosciutto and have done a few of these sandwiches since. Fantastic!

  7. Cher April 16, 2016 at 07:34 #

    I am looking forward to seeing your “tarted up” version.
    We are going to be in that part of CA this summer and I am trying to talk Joe into letting us make a dinner reservation at Bouchon. I haven’t won yet 🙂

    • Karen April 18, 2016 at 11:10 #

      Even if you don’t get to eat at Bouchon Bistro, you can at least stop by the bakery next store!

  8. lisa brown April 16, 2016 at 08:59 #

    Your cafe marly version looks amazing!! I agree a nice green salad is a great addition, but I was full on the sandwich!-Fun to make

  9. Teresa April 16, 2016 at 16:40 #

    Everything about this was (too) easy and delicious!

  10. Kathy April 17, 2016 at 09:21 #

    A fabulous sandwich! Yours looks delicious. Loved the bechamel…perfect combo!

  11. Betsy April 17, 2016 at 21:26 #

    It’s good to hear that the home version is on par with Parisian cafes! This was really good. I can’t wait for next week to see what you cooked up with the leftovers. I just kept making more sandwiches!!!

  12. Karen April 18, 2016 at 11:12 #

    I agree with Shirley. I would pick yours over the other two any day; it looks fabulous!

  13. sanya April 21, 2016 at 09:37 #

    I love all the photos! I think prior to this my experience has been limited to ham and cheese jaffles 🙂 Yours looks delicious!

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